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THE OMAYYAD CALIPHATE          53
wards, substituting conquest for what had hitherto been
little more than raids. Kutayba,1 who ably conducted these
operations in Central Asia, chose Merv for his head-
quarters, and every year made a successful campaign,
generally crossing the Oxus and sometimes the Jaxartes.
Balkh, Tokharistan, and Ferghana were his first objective;
then the fall of Baykand, a trading centre in Bokhara,
secured for him booty of inestimable value. In A.H. 90
(709) the city of Bokhara itself was taken. A rising
occupied Kutayba's energies in the following year, but he
was soon free to attack Ratbil in Sistan. In A.H. 93 (712)
he turned his arms towards Khiva, where after gaining a
success he heard that Samarcand was in the hands of rebels.
Leading his veterans by forced marches, he began the
siege of that city, whose king on the arrival of battering-
engines lost heart, and peace was made on the terms that
a heavy tribute should be paid and a levy of horsemen
supplied. The conqueror was allowed to enter Samar-
cand, where he destroyed the fire temples and built a
mosque, but he broke his plighted word and retained the
city as a Moslem possession. In the last two years of
this eventful decade Kutayba reached Kashgar. A curious
legend of this campaign has been preserved, according to
which the Arab general swore to take possession of the soil
of China. The cc King " (probably the frontier governor)
released him from this oath by sending him a load of soil
to trample on, a bag of Chinese money to symbolize
tribute, and four royal youths on whom he imprinted
his seal. The whole story has a delightful touch of reality.
The Advance to the Indus> A.H. 89-96 (707-714).
During the reign of Welid the Moslem hosts, under
Mohamed ibn Kasim, the first Arab to make his mark in
India, pushed into Sind from Makran and captured
Multan, where the value of the spoil was estimated at
120,000,000 pieces. The death of "Welid put an end to
any farther advance, but the Moslems remained in Sind
permanently. There, so long as tribute was duly paid,
they -allowed the worship of idols in direct violation of
the Prophet's order.
* The campaigns of Kutayba are detailed with some fulnew in TAe Hetrt ofAsw*